Agents Take: Who will be the next quarterback to have a fully guaranteed contract like Deshan Watson?

Kirk Cousins ​​broke new ground in 2018 by signing the NFL’s first lucrative fully guaranteed veteran’s contract as an unrestricted free agent. Vikings The quarterback was given a three-year, $84 million deal with incentives up to $90 million, making him the league’s highest-paid player at $28 million per year.

It was expected that Cousins’ deal would be the catalyst for fully guaranteed contracts in the NFL. The door opened quickly to Cousins ​​with the next two quarterbacks who signed for more than him.

Matt Ryan a few months later became the NFL’s first $30 million per year player. Ryan Ko receives five-year, $150 million contract extension falcon The NFL had a record $100 million in total guarantees and $94.5 million in full guarantees upon signing.

Aaron Rodgers replaced Ryan as the league’s highest-paid player. He signed a four-year, $134 million extension with packer A maximum value of $138 million through pay escalators and incentives. $98.2 million was guaranteed, including the largest ever signing bonus at the time of $57.5 million.

It took four years to have another fully guaranteed veteran’s contract of greater magnitude than Cousin’s deal. No one expected Deshan Watson to get a fully guaranteed, five-year, $230 million contract in March as part of his business. texans To Browns Due to his alleged inappropriate sexual conduct during several massage sessions. It is expected that Watson will begin the 2022 regular season while serving a suspension for a violation of the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

Watson had $136 million remaining on a four-year extension, an average of $39 million per year he signed with the Texans in September 2020. They usually have the type of money guaranteed in lucrative NBA contracts.

Kyler Murray became the first quarterback since Watson signed the top of his deal. cardinals Murray was given a five-year, $23.5 million extension of up to $23.5 million via a pay escalator. There is $160 million in total guarantees, with a full guarantee of $103.3 million upon signing. The first overall pick of 2019 has an unprecedented clause in his contract that requires four hours of independent film study during each week of the regular season to prevent his guarantee from being voided.

A fully guaranteed contract never seemed like a real possibility for Murray as the Cardinals are not considered a cash-rich team. Meeting the NFL’s old funding rules, where teams were required to put in an escrow account, including injuries in future contract years, the amount of any guarantees in the contract was becoming problematic for the Cardinals.

Murray’s signing bonus in his rookie contract was not paid outright like Nick Bosa, the second overall pick of 2019 49ers Of Murray’s $23,589,924 signing bonus, $6,839,924 was deferred to March 1, 2020.

The next quarterback to get a big payday has to be Lamar Jackson. The 2018 first-round pick is scheduled to play this season under a fifth-year option for $23.016 million.

It is unknown whether obtaining a fully guaranteed contract is a priority for Jackson, which represents itself. crows Owner Steve Biscotti acknowledged the potential impact of Watson’s contract at NFL owners’ meetings in March. “I wish they hadn’t guaranteed the entire contract,” Biscotti said. “I don’t know if he should have been the first to get a full guaranteed contract. To me, that’s something that’s important, and it would make negotiating with others difficult.” He also added, “But that doesn’t mean we have to play that game, you know? We’ll see.”

Nonetheless, it would be fair for Jackson to insist on a more fully guaranteed contract than Watson. He is more accomplished than Watson. Jackson set a new single-season quarterback rushing record with 1,206 yards on the ground and led the NFL with 36 touchdown passes in 2019 when he was league MVP. He was also the first player to have at least 3,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in a single season.

Watson was never a first team All-Pro, let alone NFL MVP. There are also no concerns about Jackson’s off-the-field behavior.

Conditions may be favorable for Russell Wilson to get a fully guaranteed deal, even if Jackson doesn’t. broncos General Manager George Patton indicated on Tuesday that the Wilson deal would be done at the right time.

Wilson, who has two years left on the $50 million contract, should make a substantial profit due to his acquisition costs. Broncos gave seahawks Multiple players (tight end Noah Fant, defensive lineman Shelby Harris and quarterback Drew Locke), 2022 and 2023 first round picks, 2022 and 2023 second round picks and 2022 fifth round picks for Wilson and 2022 fourth round picks of pic.

Mark Rodgers, Wilson’s agent, isn’t afraid to think out of the box. He reportedly proposed tying Wilson’s compensation in the later years of the contract to an increase in the pay range during previous negotiations with the Seahawks. A fully guaranteed contract can be particularly lucrative for Rodgers because of his experience as a baseball agent where he is accustomed to dealing with perfectly secure deals.

The ownership group that bought the Broncos, led by Walmart heir Rob Walton, has deep pockets. According to Forbes, Walton would easily be the richest owner of the NFL with an estimated net worth of $58.3 billion. The funding rules of the NFL will not be an issue for him.

This may not be true for family-run organizations such as Bengal And chargers, In only two NFL seasons with the Bengals and Chargers, respectively, 2020 first-round picks Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert have entered the elite-quarterback discussion. Burrow and Herbert will be eligible to sign an extension once the 2022 regular season ends next January.

Bengals president Mike Brown has already acknowledged that maintaining the borough is the main focus of the organization. Cincinnati seasoned annexes have an archaic and vanilla structure. The only true guaranteed money in signing bonus. Unsecured March roster bonuses in second and/or third contract years, usually due on the third or fifth day of the league year, are considered substitutes for additional contact guarantees. The refusal to include traditional guarantees in any new contracts should be a deal-breaker for Buro at the moment.

The Chargers set records for fully guaranteed totals and money when edge rusher Joy Bosa signed with a non-quarterback in the 2020 extension. It wouldn’t be surprising with Herbert setting new standards in these contract metrics for quarterbacks without fully guaranteed contracts for the Chargers.

Whether history repeats itself as in 2018 will depend on the ability of the next quarterback to cash in on Watson’s contract, particularly for Jackson and Wilson. Watson will likely become an outsider due to their unique circumstances, as they both have traditional contract structures. Several teams were recruiting Watson to waive his no-trade clause, so he was more like a free agent than the typical contract-extension candidate, where only the player has a one-off conversation with the team. It could take another quarterback who is ready to adopt the franchise tag like Cousins ​​did and hit the open market to have another fully guaranteed veteran’s contract, if that door closes again.

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